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Overview of the Spinal Cord Injury-Functional Index (SCI-FI): Structure and Recent Advances

  • David S. Tulsky
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author David S. Tulsky, PhD. Director, Center for Health Assessment Research and Translation, Departments of Physical Therapy and Psychological & Brain Sciences, University of Delaware, 100 Discovery Blvd, Newark, DE 19713.
    Affiliations
    Center for Health Assessment Research and Translation (CHART), University of Delaware, Newark, DE

    Department of Physical Therapy and Psychological, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

    Department of Brain Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
    Search for articles by this author
  • Pamela A. Kisala
    Affiliations
    Center for Health Assessment Research and Translation (CHART), University of Delaware, Newark, DE
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Published:October 27, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2021.10.006

      Abstract

      The Spinal Cord Injury–Functional Index (SCI-FI) is a system of patient-reported outcome measures of functional activities developed specifically with and for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). The SCI-FI was designed to overcome limitations in measurement of the full range of activities and breadth of content of physical functioning commonly used in SCI research. Generic measurement tools of physical function (ie, those focused on the general population) tend to overemphasize mobility and do not contain enough items at the lower end of the functional range (eg, items appropriate for individuals with tetraplegia). The SCI-FI consists of 9 item response theory–calibrated item banks that represent relevant and meaningful item content for individuals with SCI, span a wide range of functional abilities, and subdivide physical functioning into important subdomains, including basic mobility, self-care, and fine motor function. Since the original publication of the SCI-FI in 2012, there have been significant advances in and publications on the reliability and psychometric properties of the measures. The manuscripts presented in this special section clarify the SCI-FI structure and present new research on the SCI-FI measurement system.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      AT (assistive technology), C (capacity), CAT (computer adaptive testing), Pedi-SCI (Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury Activity Measure), PRO (patient-reported outcome), PROMIS (Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System, SCI, spinal cord injury), SCI-FI (Spinal Cord Injury–Functional Index), SCI-FI/AT (Spinal Cord Injury–Functional Index/Assistive Technology), SCI-FI/C (Spinal Cord Injury–Functional Index/Capacity), SCIMS (SCI Model Systems), SCI-QOL (Spinal Cord Injury–Quality of Life)
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